New research shows explosive growth in DRS

A new report from circular economy platform Reloop confirms that deposit return systems (DRS) are increasingly being chosen by governments around the world as a tool to tackle the mounting global crisis of wasted plastic and glass bottles and aluminium cans.

The data shows that by the end of 2020, 291 million people will have access to a deposit return system, increasing by an additional 207 million people by the end of 2023.

The report, called Reloop’s Global Deposit Book 2020: An Overview of Deposit Return Systems for One-Way Beverage Containers, shows that:

  • European countries with DRS have the highest rate of success, with an average beverage container return rate of 91%
  • Australia’s deposit programs, which are relatively new compared to other jurisdictions, have the lowest success rates so far, with an average return rate of 68%.
  • The return-to-retail model of DRS – where empty bottles and cans are returned for a refund of the deposit at shops where they are purchased – is the most effective, with an average return rate of 89%, compared to return-to-redemption centre or depot systems, which have an average return rate of 81%

Clarissa Morawski, CEO of Reloop, said: “Reloop’s Global Deposit Book 2020 is good news for the planet. It reveals that each year more and more countries are realising the need for deposit return schemes to collect and recycle valuable cans and bottles and to address the massive crisis in wasted containers, many of which end up as litter.

“Deposit Return Systems are the only proven way for a country to achieve recycling rates of over 90%, meaning fewer bottles and cans in our forests and on our beaches.


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